Last October, about 55 delegates from Miami, Bogota, Montevideo, Santiago, Lima, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, San Francisco, and New York, gathered in Boston for the Old Mutual Global Investors’ annual conference.
With Chris Stapeton, Head of Distribution for the Americas, as Master of Ceremonies, attendees were able to listen to several of the company’s portfolio managers, such as Lee Freeman-Shor, portfolio manager of the European Best Ideas Fund, who spoke about his post-Brexit vision, and John Peta’s presentation on emerging market debt, as well as Josh Crabb, Head of Asian equities.
John Peta joined OMGI in 2015 from Threadneedle. In recent years, the company has been attracting professionals of a very high-level. An example is that of Mark Nash, who arrived at Old Mutual from Invesco (fixed income), or Rob Weatherston (Asian Equities), who came from BlackRock. "They have come to Old Mutual because our managers can develop their strategies, based on their vision, to generate alpha in their teams," explained Warren Tonkinson, Managing Director of Old Mutual GI, in his opening speech.
The presentation led by Ned Naylor-Leyland, Manager of the new Gold & Silver Fund strategy, entitled "Gold’s Perfect Storm," attracted the attention of the audience and detailed, among other things, why "Gold ETFs do not make much sense," or, that right now, the precious metal "is the only asset you can have that is not discounting another round of quantitative easing."
Old Mutual Global Investors' path to its current position as a benchmark company in the Asset Management industry and ranked in the top 5 in the United Kingdom, could be described as meteoric. Founded in 2012 from the merging of two smaller UK management companies, OMGI has gone from managing 17.9 billion dollars in assets to 35.7 billion. Its team, which started with 140 people, currently has 273 professionals. Tonkinson explained that in order to grow, they first invested in their investment, operational, and risk platforms, and later in their distribution platform by opening sales offices in several markets. They started with London, Hong Kong and Boston, and recently added Miami, Uruguay, Singapore, Zurich, and Milan.
The managing director pointed out that while at the beginning 95% of its assets were generated in the United Kingdom, currently only half of their flows come from there, due to its internationalization process. Old Mutual GI has also carried out a diversification process by type of client, just last year, they took their first steps in the institutional business, and thus far they have received 750 million dollars in assets from this type of client.